Carnegie Mellon University

April 16 – 18 & April 17 – 19
Various times

On college campuses across the US, April often signals the onset of studying and stressing during finals, but at Carnegie Mellon University, the month marks the return of a 101-year-old tradition.

Running April 16-18, Carnegie Mellon’s Spring Carnival enters its second century with three days full of amusement park rides, live music, unhealthy snacks, booth adventures, buggy and mopot races, lectures and workshops and much more. Featuring many events and activities that are free open to the public, the cherished annual tradition kicks off on April 16 on the “Midway” with opening ceremonies, music by the Pipe Band and giant booths built by student organizations that explore this year’s “Living Library” theme.

On April 17th, head to the 21st annual “Mobot Races,” where School of Computer Science students and alums will race hand-constructed autonomous vehicles (read: MObile roBOTs) along a slalom-style course. Don’t miss the 95th anniversary editions of the Sweepstakes buggy races, boasting a redesigned Buggy Showcase, alumni panel and exhibition races throughout the weekend. Aaerodynamic pushcarts designed and built by student organizations, each buggy holds a driver who steers around a 4,400-foot course at nearly 40 miles per hour.

Always a highlight of Spring Carnival are the outdoor concerts hosted by CMU’s Activities Board. Headlining this year is Philly-based DJ and multi-instrumentalist,  RJD2 (aka Ramble Jon Krohn), known for creating the catchy theme song for AMC’s Mad Men. Also performing will be the energetic, Brooklyn-based indie dance duo Matt and Kim, who just released their fifth studio album, New Glow.

Lovers of Broadway won’t want to miss Scotch’n’Soda’s theatrical production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along, taking place in CMU’s Rangos Ballroom.

View a complete CMU Spring Carnival schedule, as well as helpful information about Oakland-area road closures and traffic alerts.

Also at CMU: Open Engagement

Also taking place at CMU over the weekend is Open Engagement, an international conference and media platform that support socially engaged art. Highlighting the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members and organizations, the free conference runs April 17-19. Taking place both at Carnegie Mellon and as well as activating off-site locations, the three-day conference will explore the theme of Place and Revolution via open house tours, lectures, workshops, mixers and more.

Co-presenters for Open Engagement are A Blade of Grass, Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art and College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments. Register online.